A few weeks ago we blogged about our adoption of Uservoice to get feedback from you to help us better meet your needs.
Simply head over to our template feedback and share your ideas for themes, site types, colors, extension, whatever you'd like to see.
We'll be be selecting 3 people at random for a free copy of our upcoming release!
What Joomla-powered sites have the highest Google PageRank? (Hint: Joomlashack's PageRank is 9. Think we made the top tier?)
How many Joomla-powered websites in the world are there? And how many of them are highly trafficked, really successful sites?
A group of Joomlaheads led by Alex Red has set out to answers these any many other questions about the size, depth, and characteristics of the Joomlaverse. Their site is www.joomla.me
Joomla.me is a directory of Joomla-powered websites. The team analyzes and makes some interesting claims using data from the directory, including:
So you want a website, and you have heard some of the buzz about open source.
Joomla, Drupal and Wordpress have all been mentioned, but you are lost and confused.
No problem, this guide is an easy 10 step process to getting started with building a website with Joomla and some insider tricks and tips to make sure you are making best use of it.
We are going to look at the following things:
- Why do you need a website, and why use Joomla?
- What actually is Joomla?
- How do I install Joomla?
- How should I set up my site?
- Picking a Template
- Organizing Content
- Creating Navigation
- How can I add features to my site?
- How can I make Joomla better for SEO?
- How do I keep my site updated, and what lies ahead (Joomla 1.6)
You think you need a website but why?
Unless you have clear goals, your website will not have any focus, and not contribute to your organization's goals.
- A restaurant might want to increase onsite foot traffic
- A non-profit might want to increase donations
- A consultant might want to increase sales leads
- A school might want to communicate better with parents
But unless you identify your goals, you are building your site blindfolded!
But what shall I use?
Joomla, Drupal or Wordpress?
Joking aside, Joomla is an excellent solution that lies in the middle of Wordpress's ease of use and the flexibility of Drupal.
- How to Choose Between Joomla, Drupal and Wordpress (compassdesigns.net)
- Comparing Wordpress, Joomla, and Drupal (CMS Report)
- Wordpress, Joomla or Drupal - Which CMS should you choose? (goodwebpractices.com)
Joomla is an open source content management system.
So what does that mean?
- Open Source means that anyone can contribute to the code, improve it, or distribute it. This means the platform is a living project being created and improved by a community of developers all over the world.
- A content management system uses a database to place content into designated places on the web page. Its dynamic and in real time.
Let's look at a forum as an example
Joomla works the same way, the template creates "buckets" or "placeholders" for content, and then the CMS pours content into them as needed.
Here, the articles are being dynamically generated as well as the bottom lists of links.
- Cheap (not free!)
Barrie North's 80/20 rule
- 80% of what you want to do will take 20% of the effort
- You don’t really know what your site visitors want
- Official Joomla Project Site
- What is Joomla? (joomla.org)
- What is Joomla? A Website Developer's Perspective (netshinesoftware.com)
- What is Joomla? (joomlashack.com)
To install Joomla, you need a web account with a MySQL database.
Or you can set up what is know as a localhost.
- Download Joomla files
- Upload file package to server then extract
- Extract then upload individual files
- Create a database
- Browse to site and run installation wizard
- Pray to all you hold holy that permissions are ok
- Delete installation folder
- How to Install Joomla 1.5 (compassdesigns.net)
- How do you install Joomla! 1.5? (Joomla.org Documentation)
- Fundamentals of Joomla! (Video Training): How Do I Install Joomla (informit.com)
One of the hardest parts to Joomla is setting up the site. To start, there are so many options it an be overwhelming.
The three elements of a Joomla site are:
- Template (the look and feel)
- Content (the "beef")
- Modules (the gravy round the outside)
Joomla comes with three templates:
- Milky Way
To get started, just use one of these, then you can graduate to a 3rd party template of which there are thousands. You can get free ones or professional ones ranging from $25-$70
Of course www.joomlashack.com, but others of mention:
Commercial innovation has driven Joomla templates much quicker than some other content management systems.
The main "meat" content is made up of articles.
Content, or articles need containers, these are called Sections and Categories, and must be set up first.
Nothing can been seen on the webpage until it is linked to. Next you must set up navigation.
Joomla has thousands of 3rd party extensions, from forums and shopping carts to lacrosse league managers or women's menstrual cycle trackers.
Some are free, some are commercial. Some are GPL, some are proprietary (no, these are not the same thing!)
Lets add some extensions!
Joomla holds its own for SEO!
Joomla has something called SEF (Search Engine Friendly URL's) that turns complex url's into easy to understand ones.
Google doesn't care now anywhere, so SEO is not SEF.
- Keyword Use in Title Tag (4.9)
- Global Link Popularity of Site (4.5)
- Anchor Text of Inbound Link (4.4)
- Link Popularity within the Site's Internal Link Structure (4.1)
- Age of Site (4)
- Topical Relevance of Inbound Links to Site (3.9)
- Link Popularity of Site in Topical Community (3.9)
- Keyword Use in Body Text (3.9)
- Global Link Popularity of Linking Site (3.7)
- Topical Relationship of Linking Page (3.6)
Concentrate on creating relevant titles for your articles
This will mean your pages have a strong foundation for SEO and will be accessible and usable.
- Joomla SEO Club (alledia.com)
- Top 10 Joomla SEO tips for Google (compassdesigns.net)
- Search Engine Optimization (Official Joomla SEO forum)
One of the challenges of open source is keeping up to date with the more frequent patches and security fixes. Someone on your team will have to know how to do these.
Joomla.org releases patches which are a bunch of files that need to be applied/ftp'ed onto your server.
Major releases come around every year or so with many new features. The current version is 1.5 and 1.6 will be released in the next 12 months.
There are some extensions and services that will keep you site updated for you.
Have 60 minutes to learn more about Joomla from Barrie North, author of Joomla! 1.5- A User's Guide: Building a Successful Joomla! Powered Website?
Then sign up today for the upcoming webinar "5 Tips for Building a Successful Website!"
The first 10 people to register for the webcast will receive a free autographed copy of Joomla! 1.5 - A User's Guide: Building a Successful Joomla! Powered Website, 2nd Edition. You must "attend" the webinar in order to win.
During this 60-minute webcast you will learn the tips, tricks and problem-solving solutions covering:
- How to build Joomla! sites from scratch and customize them
- Create dynamic pages and effective navigation
- Optimize your Joomla! site for search engines
- Identify the most valuable Joomla! extensions and add-ons
Not picked up your copy of the book? Buy it today from Amazon for just $29! And see you on August 19th!
What you really really want!
Last week we launched our new promise of our 100% satisfaction guarantee.
This week we take another step in improving ourselves to better meet our customers needs.
We have launched our Uservoice feedback forum for the Joomlashack community. We want you to tell us what you'd like to see from Joomlashack, and we'll do our best to make it happen.
For general feedback, please post in our core forum: joomlashack.uservoice.com
There are lots of email marketing services: iContact, Mailchimp, Aweber etc etc.
But I don't think there has been a scientific test and review of how well they deliver, all of them give their deliverability rates, but how can we compare them?
I need your help to do this very test and compare these services, here's how
Imagine yourself updating over 1,000 websites with the latest version of Joomla 1.5.
A nightmarish struggle against the clock that would take so long that 1.5.13 would be out before you had half of the sites updated, right?
Last week the Joomla Project team released Joomla 1.5.12, codename "Wojmamni Ama Woi." No explanation for the Swahili meaning was given, but this version's various security and bug fixes are easily explained by checking out the project's 1.5.12 release.
The notes on Joomla.org points out that the version of the WYSIWYG editor TinyMCE received an important upgrade in this release, which reminded us to remind you that if you aren't using WYSIWYGPro, you're mising out on the best editor available for Joomla 1.5.
Nonetheless, be sure to do your updates early and often, as there are likely bad people out there trying to hack your Joomla site. You can also check out SecureJoomla, which will add another layer of protection on top of the great work by the Joomla Project guys.
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